Obama Administration Asks Congress to Restore Nearly $700 Million to Human Spaceflight

Model of NASA's Orion spacecraft
Model of NASA's Orion spacecraft

White House Seeks to Restore Human Spaceflight Funding
Space News

The White House has asked congressional appropriators to restore $670 million cut from NASA’s nearly $4 billion budget request for human space exploration in a version of the 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill the House passed in June, according to congressional and administration sources.

In a September letter to leaders of the House and Senate appropriations commerce, justice, science subcommittees, White House science adviser John Holdren asked that the funding be restored in anticipation of a forthcoming presidential decision on NASA’s manned spaceflight future, according to congressional sources.

In addition, the White House asked Senate appropriators to stay flexible as the president awaits the findings of a 10-member panel tasked in May to reassess NASA’s post-space shuttle space exploration plans, congressional and administration sources said.  The White House-appointed panel, led by former Lockheed Martin chief Norm Augustine, sent the White House and NASA a summary report Sept. 8 that laid out several alternatives to NASA’s current Moon-focused Constellation program. The full report is not expected to be released until mid-October, NASA’s spokesman for the panel, Robert “Doc” Mirelson, said Oct. 2.

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